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Wednesday, 23 April 2014 14:54

Three Men Charged in Forgery Scam Led by Long Island Art Dealer

A forged Jackson Pollock painting. A forged Jackson Pollock painting.

Three men were charged on Monday, April 21, in connection with a forgery scam led by the Long Island-based art dealer, Glafira Rosales. During the fifteen-year scheme, Rosales and her accomplices sold counterfeit works that mimicked the styles of modern masters, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko, through well-known galleries such as the now-shuttered Knoedler & Company gallery in New York. Rosales and her camp swindled unsuspecting customers out of more than $33 million. 

Among the trio was the Queens-based painter Pei Shen Qian, who allegedly made the forgeries and is believed to have fled to China. Qian, who has been charged with wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud, and making false statements, faces up to 45 years in prison if he is convicted. Brothers Jesus Angel Bergantinos Diaz and Jose Carlos Bergantinos Diaz were arrested last week in Spain. Jesus faces up to 80 years in jail and Jose faces a maximum sentence of 100 years behind bars. Rosales, who already pleaded guilty, is awaiting sentencing. She faces up to 99 years in prison.

Manhattan US Attorney, Preet Bharara, said, "Today's charges paint a picture of perpetual lies and greed...With today's Indictment, the defendants must now answer for their alleged roles as modern masters of forgery and deceit.”

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